Starting Over...

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Brown & Co., Feb 26, 2010.

  1. Brown & Co.

    Brown & Co. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    Well. They say most business don't last the first year. We did! Then yesterday our partnership dissolved. Found out he was invoicing work that he never did and said he did. Anyways... Its back to Sole Proprietorship for me. I lost my new equipment but kept all the accounts except for one large commercial account. Suppose its back to the roots that started the business for me. Door to door, push mower, and residential. I defiantly learned my lesson to not get into a partnership in this business. They can work...and quite well...just make sure you get a good partner.

    Question: "If I got my DBA as a Sole, and then got a second DBA as a partnership without canceling the first I should be good to go, to revert back to running under my sole DBA? Just should send a letter to dissolve the partnership DBA?"

    Correct me if I'm wrong but in the state of Texas I don't need any other license to operate a sole proprietor business in this industry. Unless I choose to get an applicators license...for pest control, or irrigation license for the obvious.

    What else am I missing?

    Anyone know where I can go to find information on starting a business. Is there a city/county department that handles startup businesses or small businesses.

    Man is my motivation shot! Any good input would be greatly appreciated.

    Oh well atleast I gained 48% of my business back. 80% to me and 20% back to the company = 100% Sanity! Im so ready for that to come back.

    :weightlifter:Back on the Grind :weightlifter:
  2. NorthTXlawnguy

    NorthTXlawnguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 83

    I am not absolutely sure about the DBA's, but think you are on the right track. Sorry to hear about your former partner. Good luck and hopefully you can build it back better than ever. Hard work and honesty will get you a long way!
  3. westwind

    westwind LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 444

    Here is a link for local small business information. At least now, there will be no questions in your business. As a recommendation, I would look into starting an LLC, just like a SP, but the protection of a inc. or corp. Just my 2. Good Luck!

  4. indy2tall

    indy2tall LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 417

    Help me out here Brown & Co. because something seems out of whack to me. You started a business which (except for a dishonest partner) managed to get clients, do some amount of business, and last a year and now your asking for advise on how to start a business and what kind of insurance to get? Were you just a silent partner who put up the startup money and had nothing to do with the business? Did you file a police report because your business partner certainly committed theft against you. Also your post says you have a one year old business but your profile says you have been at this for 6 to 10 years.
  5. Brown & Co.

    Brown & Co. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    Indy2Tall, Ive been doing grounds maintenance since I was old enough to push a mower around the neighborhood...probably 10-12 yrs old. Have done it everyday minus most weekends, my entire life. I'm now 24 yrs old. I never got insured until the partnership this last year...I completely agree that was a bad decision to not have insurance. In my defense (as weak as it is) I was a full time student, full time mower/etc., with student loans, and cheap equipment. nothing worth insuring since it was cheaper to buy a new mower/equipment for residential accounts then it was to repair it. In the state of Texas, Lawn Servicing, if your not making $5k a quarter (in paper trails) you don't have taxes to pay. You still file. But no taxes, or so I've read on the Tx State Tax Comptroller Website

    I know I should include cash, checks, credit cards for tax purpuses and I am... just stating that if you got cash from a client what paperwork do you have to say that that cash was for THAT service?

    To correct you! I never asked "How do you start a business." A 4 year old knows the answer to that. Get a product, and a client willing to buy that product...its not rocket science.
    Hell yeah I'm asking about insurance...and I'm sure you already know that there's 100's of different types of policies that cover different things...if not perhaps I should be giving you some help advice. If I already had it Id still be asking to see if I need to be getting a lower rate or add a policy (its a business, if I find something that's going to allow less over head with no quality loss I'm all for it like any good/decent business owner SHOULD be).
    No I was never a silent partner. I designed the company, logo, business cards, estimate forms, Service Aggreements, sales recipts...if a basic company has it so do we and I designed it myself before he even came on-board, ran the bookkeeping/invoicing, Scheduling, Advertising, Payroll, website, equipment maintenance/repair, Sales rep and Service Tech or whatever you call it these days...I still call it footwork/labor. He was a partner that did nothing more than your newest/inexperienced employee would do, even then they prolly did more correctly without have to ask and reask how its done.

    I got lucky (I think) in the fact that hes never signed the partnership agreement... He wanted to type it up and I never saw it again... the assets were split 50/50. I kept all equipment from before he came on-board. we split any payments made on the equipment he got. He agreed to repay 50% (depreciation is also calculated) back to me.
    So I'm not sure what police report your suggesting. There was no theft other than what he billed the client for and didn't do. That's the only account that he got from Brown & Co. (figured I didn't want him (client) to be upset with MY company. he (expartner) can just follow up with his own client (the one we've be talking about) and explain to him what happened. And if he dosnt want him as a service company I told him I would be waiting for his call if he needed my company. (No noncompete clauses were signed :) and he really had no clue how the lawn industry works. Its no longer my responsibility or client. (At least that's what I think, correct me if I'm wrong)

    Damn Im behind... we went from every client signing a 100-150/month service agreement (Contract if you will) to letting him try to learn the business and he insisted on lowballing ... never listened to me about how that DOSNT work! to mowing some lawns for 15-25.00 (based on 10k or less sqft.) LOl I refused to take those lawns so I put them on his route. Ill sit at home while he worked his ass off for minimum pay.

    I think you now understand why I say In business 1 year (As a partnership), 6 yrs sole dba, and 20 yrs experience if you looked on for my things to ask me about ;). The 20 years experience states that Brown & Co. Weather DBA or not has 20 years of Grounds Maintenance Industry/Business experience. How does that math work out? Started when I was 10, and worked with 4 companies since then for the combined experience of 20 years. (Most companies are not run the same, IE procedures... equipment...staffing... basically anything and everything can be different. So 4 companies x 5 years = 20 years learned experience.

    If you have any other questions or still feel like somethings out of whack PLEASE don't hesitate to ask LOL... if not I'm going to refer back to my original post and I really am looking forward to some good honest input relating to those questions."
  6. Lovingreen

    Lovingreen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    I would NEVER take on a partner. NEVER. A business partner is like a wife except alot worse. If you can move forward without a partner, you need to figure out how to do it.
  7. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,369

    Dude are 24 yrs old and have 20 years experience.
    You website says you have 50 years experience.

    Pretty impressive.
  8. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    WOW that's Quite the statement,

    Most businesses always are entered into some type of partnership.
  9. Brown & Co.

    Brown & Co. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    LOL yeah I know :hammerhead:

    Like I said Im behind... I need to update my website and make that correction.... Still has my expartners stuff figured in and I need to remove his info too! :/

    LOL Sanity has not returned to 100% just yet.

    But its been about a week and my stress level has definatly decreased 1000% Soooooooooooooo GLAD. It so much easier to work solo...never again will I partner up. Your definatly right... Hey! It was ANOTHER learning experience right? So one more year to add :laugh:
  10. BearWise Landscapers

    BearWise Landscapers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    Brown & Co,

    Here are my recommendations for the insurance coverages you need:

    1) General Liability
    2) Commercial Auto

    Maybe 3) Equipment Floater and 4) Workers' Compensation depending on how big you grow.

    Here are some articles to read more:

    Lawn Care Insurance - No Employees
    Lawn Care insurance - 2 Employees

    Let me know what other questions you have.

    Good luck this year!

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